Cigarette leader Altria to acquire UST

Altria, the U.S. leader in Cigarettes, wants to be No. 1 in smokeless tobacco products, too. The owner of the nation's biggest cigarette seller said Monday that it will buy UST, the maker of Skoal and Copenhagen, in a $10

Observers say Lorillard, which was spun off from Loews Corp. in June, could be next on the list of potential targets. Altria owns the Marlboro brand and the nation's biggest cigarette maker, Philip Morris USA. It has been test marketing Marlboro brand smokeless products, but analysts say the results have been disappointing. Its acquisition of UST will give it a strong position in smokeless tobacco, a segment of the U.S. market that is growing as Cigarettes decline. P&G; selling Noxzema rights, trademarks Procter & Gamble Co. has agreed to sell the rights and trademarks to its Noxzema skin care brand to suburban Chicago-based hair care products maker Alberto-Culver Co. Both companies confirmed the deal Monday. P&G; beauty products spokesman Sean Parker says the sale reflects a strategic shift that will allow Cincinnati-based P&G; to focus on its Olay and Doctor's Dermatologic Formula anti-aging brands. The company says the agreement includes existing business in the United States, Canada and part of Latin America. P&G; will retain its mostly male-focused Noxzema shave care, deodorant and body cleanser business in Western Europe. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Noxzema was created in 1914 and was acquiRed by P&G; in 1989. Manitou BF SA to buy Gehl, expand in U.S. Manitou BF SA, a French manufacturer of forklifts, agreed to buy construction and agriculture equipment maker Gehl Co. for $331 million to expand in the U.S. market. The cash offer is worth $30 a share, according to an e-mailed statement from Ancenis, France-based Manitou, Gehl's largest shareholder.


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